Monthly Archives: July 2012
Today I’d really like to ask a question – is writing
in several different genres a help or a hindrance to a writer’s career?
Personally, I’ve always written whatever comes to
mind. I don’t just write in a single
genre, and I’ve often surprised myself by going out of my comfort zone and
writing something that I’d never imagined I would want to write. But here I am,
six years into my writing career and I’ve penned m/f, f/f, ménage, contemporary,
paranormal, BDSM, fem-dom, rubenesque, modern fairy tales, voyeurism, romance,
bisexual and uniform fetish stuff.
I know many
writers pick a genre, for example, straight paranormal erotic romance, and
stick to it. Others, like me, write all kinds of things.
I can see the
good and bad points of both sides. Sticking to a single genre means that your
fans know what to expect, and that it’s incredibly likely that if they liked
one of your books, they’ll like them all. However, on the down side, you may
not be gaining new fans who wouldn’t necessarily look for books in the genre
you write within.
Writing in multi genres means that you run the risk of losing fans. They may
read something of yours and really enjoy it, then check something else out
that’s in a different genre, and not like it. (This is why, on my website, I
clearly state what genres my books are). On the other hand, though, someone may
have found your writing while looking for a lesbian piece, for example, then
gone on to read your books within other genres.
So, now I’m
putting the question to everyone else. I’d love to hear your experiences – from
both sides. It’s a little too late for me to change anything now—plus I love
writing in several different genres—but I’m just curious to hear the opinions
of others. I look forward to reading your comments!
Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9
By Lisabet Sarai
Like most of you, I read quite a lot of
erotica. I’ve noticed an increasing focus on the supposed sexual
appeal of a depilated pussy. And I have to say, I deplore this trend.
Half a dozen years ago, one would only
occasionally encounter a shaved or waxed pubis in an erotic story. A
bare beaver was unusual and thus transgressive. An author could use
this to signal that the character was into age play, or a submissive
forced to shave by her Dom, or a wild sensualist seeking the
increased sensitivity that supposedly results from the removal of
pubic hair. The average woman had pubic hair – thus the woman
sporting a naked mons was by definition unusual.
These days, every woman and her sister
seems to wax. The practice (in erotic fiction at least) has become as
accepted – almost as expected – as shaving one’s underarms.
Waxing has found its way into romance and chick lit, another female
ritual akin to shopping or getting a manicure. As a result, a bared
mound has completely lost its value as an indication of erotic
preferences. At the same time, more and more authors seem to imply
that hairlessness is a desirable, sexy state – that in fact a woman
who doesn’t shave or at least trim her pubes is in some sense
Sorry, but I don’t buy this. Pubic hair
(as well as underarm hair) has an erotic function. It survived the
onslaught of evolution because it enhances arousal. The hair
surrounding the genital area captures and holds a rich melange of
scents that help attract a mate. Olfactory stimuli play a huge role
in triggering sexual response, and eliminating the hair reduces the
potency of those stimuli.
Of course, a hairless pubic area
introduces new textures and sensations for both partners. I suppose
that it might amplify sexual intensity as some women report. I must
say that the only time I’ve had ever had a shaved pubis – in
preparation for a gynecological procedure – I found the experience
uncomfortable and unpleasant. There’s nothing arousing or enjoyable
about itchy, unsightly stubble!
I believe that the increasing emphasis
on hairlessness derives at least partially from an attempt to
distance ourselves from our animal natures. Sex is messy, smelly,
sometimes rough, sometimes awkward, and I think society would like to
forget or deny that. The feminine ideal is porcelain smooth,
flawless, poised and cool. How often do you see fashion models – or
porn queens for that matter – sweaty and disheveled, the way people
really are when they’re fucking?
I’m sure this is partly the result of
my age and experience, but to me, a woman without pubic hair looks
unnatural and unappealing. In my stories, I frequently mention the
luxurious tangles that shield my heroine’s sex from her partners’
view. Those partners love to burrow into that damp, fragrant thicket,
breathing in the intoxicating scent of an aroused woman. You’ll find
my characters enjoying the ripe musk lingering in the bush of
their male companions, too. I’ve written a handful of tales in which
a character has a bare pubis, but there’s always a narrative
justification for this choice. In both fiction and the real world, I
prefer lovers who are comfortable with their bodies, men and women
who aren’t ashamed to recognize that we’re slightly less horny
cousins of the sexually voracious bonobos.
“It’s just a fad,” I’m sure some
readers will counter. “Eventually the pendulum will swing the other
way.” Perhaps they’re right. Recently, though, I read that men have
hopped on the depilation bandwagon as well. The New York Times
reports that salons offering Brazilians for guys are doing a booming
business, at least in urban areas. I found this article made me feel
vaguely queasy, especially when one stylist commented, “It’s about
maintaining yourself and keeping things clean.”
“Maintaining yourself”! Like a car
or some other mechanism. Please! But this view seems to be popular.
Alas, you’ll rarely find a hairy romance hero. Check out the covers
from your favorite erotic romance publisher, and you’ll find a high
proportion feature well-muscled men with chests as smooth as a baby’s
Perhaps these images attract women
because they’ve known hairy men who did not, in fact, give much
attention to hygiene. I’ll admit that hair intensifies unpleasant as
well as pleasant smells, but a shower will handle this problem at
least as well as waxing.
It’s come to the point that women who
retain their pubic hair have become exotic fetish objects. Check out
of adult films and you’ll find titles like “Horny Hairy Girls”,
“Pubic Hair for Sale”, and “That Teen’s Got a Bushy Pussy”.
I suppose I’m just a product of my
times, my aesthetic and sexual preferences determined by my history.
I grew up in the sixties and seventies, when abundant hair was a
symbol of freedom. Younger readers won’t necessarily have these
I still find it depressing, though,
that women will spend their hard-earned cash and endure considerable
pain to conform to this twisted notion of attractiveness.
My depilation blues even inspired a
story. “Shorn”, in Lustfully Ever After: Fairytale Erotic
Romance, (edited by Kristina Wright), is a re-telling of
Rapunzel. In my version of the tale, the princess is imprisoned in
an inaccessible tower not to protect her from ravishers but to punish
her for being unwilling to cut her hair – or shave her pubis. If
you’re curious, you can read a brief excerpt here.
So what do you think? Am I being silly?
Or does the current obsession with eliminating the hirsute go beyond
the question of fashion to have negative implications for our
I tried, I really did. Because I have no intention of reading Fifty Shades of Grey just because it’s all the rage—although I could see myself leafing through an abandoned copy I find at a bed and breakfast in a decade or so–I decided I could not in good conscience make public pronouncements about the book. Not that this has stopped others from asking me why my work has not gotten me as rich as E.L. James. To which I always truthfully say that I’m glad the books have brought to light the appetite of millions of readers for erotica, and that I hope all erotica writers will benefit.
Recently, however, I’ve read some excellent posts on Fifty Shades including Remittance Girl’s “Why Fifty Shades of Grey Matters.” It occurred to me then that the Fifty Shades phenomenon affects us whether we’ve read the book or not. Obviously this media frenzy has less to do with the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey than with the fact that the huge sales provide clear evidence of the existence of female sexual desire in a special place below the belt—by which I mean our wallets. Not that this should be news. Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden was the scandalous best-selling sex book of my youth (I read my sister’s copy from cover to cover once and favorite scenes countless times after that, for sociological reasons, of course), even though Friday had been assured by a male publishing professional that women don’t have sexual fantasies. Apparently that’s a lesson the industry needs to learn over and over again.
Recently I read an expose that claimed not all of the entries in Friday’s book were fantasies reported by “ordinary” women. Shockingly Friday commissioned them from professional erotica writers! Of course, just because a piece is well written doesn’t disqualify it from being a genuine female sexual fantasy. Yet there still seems to be the assumption, confirmed rather than challenged by Fifty Shades, that sex and eloquence do not mix. I really do hope that the book’s success will pave the way for publishers to nurture and promote other erotic novels—perhaps some even written by experienced erotica writers–but I do worry that the emphasize will be on stories that resemble Fifty Shades in every aspect. This would hardly be a step forward.
But I like to focus on the positive, and there is indeed one area where Fifty Shades seems to have brought about positive change for erotica. I’m talking about the covers of the series. The sinuous, silky gray tie, the glittery half-mask, the shiny handcuffs. These images are arty, they’re classy, they’re different from the usual embracing couple with the woman’s ample bust spilling out of her corset, the man’s six-pack bulging, both of their manes rippling in the wind. It’s not that I have anything against a well-toned male torso or generous mammaries. It’s just that I like the idea there are different ways to present erotica in word and image. A recent CNN article attempting yet again to account for Fifty Shades’ popularity mentions the appeal of the classy cover.
Perhaps this explanation spoke to me, because I’m in the process of approving a new cover for the ebook version of my novel, Amorous Woman. I write
for love rather than money, but the fact that the few remaining new copies of the paperback version are selling for $92 on Amazon US and over £1500 on Amazon UK has been compelling news to my publisher. (Used copies are still cheap—perhaps my curious readers have too good of an imagination as to the logistics of a “one-handed read.”)
Here is what the original paperback cover looked like:
The image has nothing to do with the book. My protagonist is a Caucasian American, and there is no other character resembling this woman in the book,
but I appreciated the general feel of being seduced by Asian culture, which is at the heart of the story. I came to be fond of this cover for its warm, golden glow, the willowy torso, the oddly modest bra and panty set. Truth be told, I would have preferred a cover that would allow readers to take the book on their subway commute, but maybe it was only a matter of waiting until Fifty Shades made erotica okay to consume in public.
In the case of my ebook, I had much more input. This is the result:
The texture of fine Japanese paper, the understated marriage of the sensibilities of east and west, the nod to the classical origins of the story in the courtesan’s summer kimono, all are totally true to the spirit of the story. In our fine-tuning discussions, my publisher, who is new to erotica, asked me if it was explicitly sensual enough. Fortunately, I was able to use the Fifty Shades covers as an example of how suggestion can be as seductive as the
classic half-naked couple caught in the throes of ecstasy. After all, money talks.
It remains to be seen what the long-term effects of E.L. James’ books will be for erotica writers. For now, I’ll appreciate the international dialogue it has inspired and the window of opportunity to celebrate the potential of erotic writing to surprise us, connect us, and enrich our minds and spirits. That’s my official stance. If you want to know what I really think, invite me out for coffee….
Donna George Storey has 150 publications to her credit, most recently a collection of short stories, Mammoth Presents the Best of Donna George Storey. Learn more about her work at http://www.facebook.com/DGSauthor. If you’re interested in a copy of her novel, Amorous Woman, to read, not scalp, several more copies are available brand new for the bargain price of $12 including shipping here.
Six months ago, to the day, I made my first post to the ERWA
blog. It introduced the idea I wanted to
follow, keying on a theme of pivot points.
Six months ago, to the day, I was flying high above the
earth, bound for a new job after 27 years with the same company. A big pivot point in my life, methinks, and
ultimately a big pivot point for all of the members of my family. That day, January 15, 2012, my wife and I
landed in the Bay area and set out to look at potential houses.
Six months ago, to the day, I wondered what the future would
Today, the future is in full swing. Since that post, my life has been
a whirlwind. Selling one house, buying
another. Learning a new technology and
new business concepts. Working many
hours watching a new company grow far faster than I could have imagined, almost
the exact opposite of the direction the company I was working for was going.
Today, July 15, 2012, I sit in a house in the western US, not far from the home I grew up in,
thousands of miles from where I lived just a couple of weeks ago, and a few
hundred miles left to go to start a new life in a new city. We have driven cross country, and all the
while, I have kept working.
The one thing that has suffered in this long pivot point has
been my writing. It is not that I
haven’t been writing, it is that I haven’t been writing as much as I’m
accustomed to. It is that I am not
writing the things I have written in recent times leading up to this pivot
I tend to believe this will be a good thing, and that all
the other changes in my life, the new experiences I am going through at the age
of 52 will leave me with fertile soil to till new stories.
But I can’t worry about that now. Now all I can worry about is the here and the
now. Now, all I can do is navigate the
many changes the best that I can.
Pivot points are like that.
They demand your attention. They
demand your focus. Soon the dust will settle on this pivot point, and I’ll find my way back to the familiar, but there a miles of road left to travel.
I’ll catch you on the the other side next month.
|Vanessa Redgrave as the masochistic nun
in Ken Russell’s The Devils
On the social consumption of sin as spectacle & its exploitation in the marketplace
I’ve run across a number of erotica writers who’ve said they haven’t and won’t be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. In all honestly, this blows my mind. You can try to dismiss it, as many critics have, by calling it ‘mommy porn’. You can deplore its writing style – lord knows, even die-hard fans don’t attempt to defend the poor quality of the prose. But you can’t ignore the fact that it has now sold over 20 Million copies in the US. In the UK it became the fastest selling novel of all time.
As writers, it is important for us to interrogate its success and to attempt to understand what it means for the genre, for levels of explicitness in mainstream fiction, and for the way publishers are going to inevitably behave in the light of it.
I have a theory.
Less than three years ago, some very prominent writers and agents in the publishing world told me, flatly, that there was no market for erotica. It was unsaleable. It was a niche product that held little interest for them and would tick along at its own obscure pace. You can put sex in your murder mystery, or your sci-fi novel, or your romance, they said. But a straight-up erotic novel, with sexual desire as a central theme, was simply not saleable.
But they were wrong. I think that the rising levels of explicit sexuality in film, television, and the ubiquity of porn on the web meant that there was a large mainstream audience whose tolerance for and interest in fiction with heavy erotic content had been growing for years. And it is a comment on just how out of touch mainstream publishers have been with their market that, with a very few exceptions that were associated with individual authors, they did not cotton onto it. Many, many well written erotic novels, with good character development and credible plots, came across their desks and they slush-piled them.
Along comes Fifty Shades of Grey. A novel that started off as Twilight fanfic, and gained a considerable devoted audience within that context. Its author, E.L. James, is a retired television executive who had some advantages over most erotica writers. She knew the media landscape and the concept of ‘audience’ very well. She understood her own work as ‘marketable property’. She had a keen sense of how to pitch the work just right to convince publishers that they should reconsider their ambivalence toward erotica. But mostly, I think she had an instinctive understanding of how a mainstream public needed to find engagement with kinky sex, while providing them with a moral escape clause.
Fifty Shades of Grey does an interesting dance with the explicit. It revels in the details of the taboo of BDSM while seeming to condemn it. Like the torrid pseudo-journalistic pieces written about Tiger Woods’ illicit affair, it whispers to a rather creepy corner of the mainstream psyche which has a propensity to enjoy the titillation inherent in a sin while, at the same time, censuring Mr. Woods for being such a faithless bastard.
And many, many readers love this. They can masturbate furiously to the scenes played out in the Red Room of Pain, while waiting for the heroine to cure Mr. Grey of his perversions.
I am reminded of the masses who enjoyed the spectacle of the Salem Witch Trials or denunciations of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition.
“She consorted lewdly with the Devil!” the inquisitor proclaims, partly for the judges but loudly enough to entertain the masses. He lovingly details the proof of her perfidy. The women gasp and feel a quiver between their thighs right before they all scream, “Burn the witch!” If you’ve never seen Ken Russell’s “The Witches“, based on the historical events of the trials of the witches in Loudun, France, in 1634, you should. He understood and then illustrated the eroticism and hypocrisy that plays out in these sorts of public discourse on morality and sin with an insight that few others have.
I don’t think a large portion of mainstream society has evolved much since then. And for erotica writers, who usually situate themselves firmly in the sex-positive camp, this is very hard to comprehend. We write novels about how erotic experience and the exploration of new sexual territories helps us grow as individuals. For us, sex in a doorway. Very often our themes are about revelation, completion, redemption through experience. Not through shame or rejection or closing down our sexual options.
From the point of view of mainstream publishers, Fifty Shades of Grey is simply a very successful product. In the last year, in the editorial boardrooms in London and New York, large publishers have spent time analyzing the success of the novel and figuring out how they can get on the bandwagon. They may not be risk-takers when it comes to new literary product anymore, but they’re damn good post-game quarterbackers. The moral dynamics that underlie FSOG will not have escaped them, nor will the poor quality of the writing.
If you had hoped to produce a ‘better written Fifty Shades’: “Thirty Shades of Grammar” or “Eighty Shades of Character Development” or “Twenty-Six Shades of Plot”, I don’t think your efforts are going to be appreciated. Publishers have proof that the vast majority of people who have bought, read and enjoyed the series simply don’t care about the quality of the writing. In fact, its very hamfistedness may play a subtextual role in convincing the reader of Anastasia’s innocence and her genuine desire to cure the perverted Mr. Grey.
Of course, in the over 40 million world-wide readers, some of them will wish for and seek out better written erotica. And there will be some who are emotionally and sexually honest enough to admit the BDSM in the novel was what drew them to it and felt unaccountably let down when the heroine finally succeeds in leading Mr. Grey into the vanilla light. It will not be a large percentage of them. And, consequently, there will be something of an upsurge in erotica sales for years to come.
But I don’t believe it will be the explosion we are hoping for. I genuinely hope I’m wrong in this, but I don’t think I am. Nonetheless, we may have gained a few more intrepid souls.
The world of professional writing can be … no, that’s not
right: the world of professional writing is – without a doubt – a very frightening,
Not only are there only a few diehard rules – to either
slavishly follow or studiously avoid – but even basic trust can be a very,
very rare: should I put my work on my site, or will it be stolen? Should I even send my work out to other
writers, for the very same reason?
What about editors or – especially – publishers? Does my editor really have my best
interests in mind? Should I make
the changes he or she suggests or should I stand my ground and refuse to change
even one word? Is my publisher
doing all they can for my book?
Are they being honest about royalties?
Back in the days of print – before the revolution – a lot of
these questions would have been answered by an agent: a person who not only knew
the business but would actually hold a writer’s hand and lead them from that doubt
and fear and, hopefully, towards success … however you want to define that
Agents spoke the cryptic language of rights and royalties:
they could actually read – and even more amazingly – understand a book
contract. They’d be able, with
their experience and foresight, to say when a writer should say yes
They could open doors that no one else could open – and in
some ways that still holds true: a few big (and I mean huge) publishers will
still not talk to an author who doesn’t have an agent. Don’t get me started on the Catch 22 of
an agent who will only look at published authors – when publishers won’t talk
to writers who don’t have agents.
That was then, I hear you say, but what about now? Well, as the smoke begins to clear from
the fires of the digital revolution, a lot of authors (and editors and
publishers) are beginning to question even the concept of a literary agent.
Part of this pondering is because the doors that used to be
shut to authors, without the key of a publisher, are beginning to swing
open. Yes, a lot of the huge (and
I mean immense) houses are still well fortified, but a lot of publishers,
a few of them quite sizable, are allowing – if not welcoming – un-agented
Another part of this doubt is that a lot of agents simply
haven’t kept up with the times: the ebook revolution, they deluded themselves, is
just a passing fad. Well, it isn’t,
and many authors who have signed with these kinds of agents have begun to feel
that they have hitched their literary wagon to the wrong horse.
But do you need an agent?
The rule I was taught still holds a fair amount of water: if
you are submitting to a small to mid-range publisher an agent is really not
necessary – in fact they can actually work against an author. Publishers want a
in their dealings with an author: having to deal with an agent, especially one
that feels they have bust a publisher’s chops to prove they are worth their
percentage can far too often sour the deal. As an anthology editor – and an Associate Publisher – I’ve personally
had to slam the door on more than a few deals because of an agent who got in
Frankly – not to sound like the old man on the hill – I’ve
had five of them, and not one of them has done me much good. In fact, I consider a few of them to
have seriously slowed me down professionally. This is not a good thing.
But if you still think you need an agent, keep in mind that getting
one – especially a good one – can be extraordinarily tough. This brings me back to the beginning:
becoming a professional writer is intimidating, scary, and confusing – now more
than ever – and there are more than a few agents out there who will promise to
be your savior, teach you what you need to know, and guide your hand.
The proof though, is always, in the pudding. If you decide to try to get an agent,
if you get one, and if you think you have a good one, always keep an eye wide, wide
open on what they are really, actually, doing for you.
A wise writer friend of mine said that a writer should never
forget that an agent works for the writer – not the other way
around. So if you find yourself
frustrated, disappointed, or finding more publishing opportunities than your
agent then it might be time to move on.
Will literary agents become extinct – especially when huge
book deals are being made by everyone from twitters to bloggers to little ebook
authors? I don’t know.
But I do know that it’s important to keep
a level head and not let the scary world of writing and publishing make you run
into the arms of an anyone – an agent or someone like them – who promises to
be a hero but, instead, becomes a hindrance.
Yes. Frustrating? Absolutely. But with professional writing always work to keep a clear
head and – with an agent or not – pay attention to what’s really helping you …
and what isn’t.
By Ashley Lister
After the fun of last month’s blog post on cinquains, I wanted to stay
with poetry again this month and look at one of my all-time favourite poetic
forms: the limerick.
There once was a man from
His daughter, called Nan
Ran off with a man
And as for the bucket, Nan took
I recite this version in classes because it’s more acceptable than the ribald
version. I’ve reprinted the ruder version below
with the offending language carefully censored.
There once was a man from
Whose c**k was so long he could
He said with a grin
As he wiped off his chin,
“If my ear was a c**t I could f**k
Why do I like the limerick? It’s fun and it’s ribald. It’s also a
legitimate form of poetry exemplifying balanced meter and disciplined rhyme
schemes. The limerick is characterised by the a-a-b-b-a rhyme scheme and it’s
fairly easy for anyone to attempt.
vice both obscene and unsavoury a
2 Kept the Bishop of Barking in
3 With horrible howls b
4 He deflowered young owls b
5 That he lured to his
underground aviary. a
Personally, I think the sophisticated rhyme scheme in this limerick is
quite remarkable. The three syllable
rhyme (ay-var-ee) at the end of lines 1, 2 and 5 is a powerful reminder of the
poem’s strong construction. The same can be said for the rhyme in lines 3 and 4
(ow-uls). Not bad for a throwaway verse based on the idea of a bishop
having sex with owls.
There was a young woman from
Who swallowed a packet of seeds
Within half an hour
Her **** grew a flower
And her **** was a bundle of
I could talk here about the syllable weight in this poem. Instead I’ll
simply say that it’s effective because it remains true to the form and it’s
still funny because of the ridiculous images it suggests. The same can be said
for the final example below.
There once was a young man called
Who had a hexagonal ball
The square of its weight
And his c**k’s length (plus eight)
Is his phone number – give him a
The usual rules apply to this blog post. If you can come up with a
limerick that you want to share, please post it in the comments box below. Obviously
no one wants to read anything defamatory or libellous but saucy and ribald are
the lifeblood of the limerick so I’ll be happy to see your risqué rhymes there.
As always, I look forward to reading your poems.
From the Erotica Readers & Writers Association
By Lisabet Sarai
Dear Summer Sensualists,
Did you miss me? It has been two long months since the last edition of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association. I suspect you must be hungry for new thrills.
And that’s exactly what we’ve got for you: original fiction that will raise your temperature faster than a midsummer heat wave, books too incendiary to read on the beach, movies that will make you turn the aircon onto high, and toys you’d better use with the windows shut if you don’t want to alarm the neighbors!
Since I’ve brought up the subject of erotic implements, why don’t we start (for the sake of variety – I LOVE variety) in the Sex Toy Playground. Kristina Garcia from Babeland offers a guide to the mysteries of the clitoris, going over the moves you need to make her purr. Kyra Saunders conveniently reviews the Spring Mini Vibrator, designed for clitoral stimulation. Our regular Sex Toy Scuttlebutt column features a wide range of innovative artifacts, including a vibrator driven by music and (my favorite) an experimental kink kit.
We’ve arranged discounts from our partners, so you can save a bundle when you order from Babeland, Adam & Eve, Good Vibrations or Adult DVD empire. And every time you buy something using one of our links, you get the extra satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting ERWA.
Go ahead, experiment:
Now that you’ve picked out your favorite toys, you need a film or two to go with them. It seems that the wild popularity of erotic romance fiction has spilled over into porn. In the Best Adult Movies pages, you’ll find a range titles targeted toward women and couples, that offer plenty of romance mixed with steamy sex. For instance, “She’s the One” chronicles the growth of a new relationship between the waitress in a diner and her regular customer. In “Cafe Amore”, a widower plays matchmaker for his friends, only to end up meeting his own soulmate. These flicks may sound a bit tame, but believe me, they pack in plenty of physical passion.
For something with less redeeming social value, select one of the flicks in our “Dirty Smutty Porn” category. My vote goes to “Natural”, a no-holes-barred fuckfest focusing on women who have natural breasts, natural beauty and real orgasms. Then there’s “As Seen on 42nd Street”, a compendium of classics from the heyday of porn, with scenes by legendary stars like Nina Hartley, Amber Lynn and John C. Holmes – a must for the serious porn collector, and an eye-opener for those of you who’ve never seen porn stars without tattoos!
We also have a huge selection of porn parodies, which normally don’t interest me much. However, in the Sex Toy Scuttlebutt (no less!), I found a review of “The Rocki Whore Picture Show”, a lovingly crafted X-rated re-enactment of the decadent and suggestive blockbuster original. Definitely on my must-have list!
Lights, camera, and plenty of action:
Stroll over to the Books for Sensual Readers section if you’d rather be stimulated from the inside out. (Okay, some of our toys do that, but I’m talking about the imagination…) You’ll find sizzling anthologies edited by veterans Rachel Kramer Bussel (SUITE ENCOUNTERS: HOTEL SEX STORIES) and Alison Tyler (THREE WAY: EROTIC ADVENTURES), naughty novels like Justine Elyot’s GAME and Ernest Winchester’s DOREEN’S MIDLIFE CRISIS, and eye-popping erotic photography (THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GORGEOUS GUYS, edited by Barbara Cardy). S.L. Armstrong and April L’Orange push boundaries with LIKE IT OR NOT, their collection of gay stories about dubious consent, while the creative Cari Z offers gay romance set on alien planets in CHANGING WORLDS. In the lesbian category, we feature two stellar collections from Delilah Devlin (SHE SHIFTERS: LESBIAN PARANORMAL EROTICA) and Tristan Taormino (STRIPPED). What really piqued my curiosity, though, is the first volume is a series of “forbidden erotic classics”, WHITE STAINS, by the infamous and eternally fascinating Aleister Crowley.
I’ve mentioned only a few of the dozens of titles you can browse in our pages. I guarantee you’ll find a book or two to heat up your summer vacation. I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded that you can buy anything you crave with a simple click on our affiliate links.
We give reading for pleasure a new meaning:
Speaking of reading, you’ll be very sorry if you skip the July Erotica Galleries. (And I’m not just talking about the flogging you’ll earn from me!) This month’s featured author is the amazing Thomas S. Roche. Just how amazing is he? Read his bio, savor the three stories he’s shared, and marvel!
Our July theme is “Flasher Fiesta”. The gallery editors have assembled a spicy collection of short erotic fiction (200 words maximum) on topics ranging from public sex to religious pilgrimages. In addition, we have an entire page of erotic poetry guaranteed to make you ache with desire. Even if you normally don’t get much out of poetry, you should take a look at these gorgeous efforts.
Sample the best free erotica on the web:
Our visit to the Gallery reminds me that I haven’t yet walked you through Authors Resources. This month Donna George Storey muses on “The Perils of Publication” – how to value yourself and your craft, without external validation. In my role as the Erotogeek, I tackle the unpleasant topic of backing up your work, and conclude that Murphy was a freakin’ optimist. In our publishing guide, you’ll find dozens of editors and publishers who want YOUR work. Rachel Kramer Bussel’s looking for anal sex erotica. Shane Allison wants bad boy erotica. Xcite Books has several open anthologies to be edited by Elizabeth Coldwell. Circlet Press wants erotic tales about Ninjas and villains. Total-E-Bound is looking for gay erotic romance about medical personnel. And submissions are still open for my vampire anthology, Coming Together: In Vein.
You have no excuse not to submit:
Inside the Erotic Mind this month, ERWA denizens discuss the question of why people cheat. Tune in to this fascinating and honest discussion (five pages of comments, a new record, I believe). Want to share your own opinions or experiences? Just click on “Participate”.
Ponder the intricacies and contradictions of desire:
Our Web Gem for July is Storm Moon Press. Storm Moon Press was founded January 2010 with the intent of producing quality erotic fiction focusing on GLBTQ and alternative lifestyle characters. In 2012, we also launched a strictly heterosexual imprint, Wild Moon Books. Our goal is and has always been to be both author-centric and reader-geared. We listen to our readers to find out what they are truly looking for rather than simply trying to capitalize on the latest trends. We treat our authors as the partners they are in the publishing process, encouraging them to stretch themselves beyond the conventional. With each year, we find new ways to reach and engage our readers, and we keep our author pool small so that each author is given the attention they deserve. Coupled with outstanding editors and talented cover artists, Storm Moon Press books are exceptional stories packaged beautifully for our readers.
Well, that’s it for this month’s Erotic Lure. I’ll be back in August to take you in hand once again. Meanwhile, I made a solemn vow not to make any jokes about red, white and blue corsets or Uncle Sam Doms this year.
It’s tough, but I can resist. Till next month, I remain…
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